BASF Coatings division joined hands with leading German automotive manufacturer Audi and polymer supplier Covestro to make and test the trio’s first product – a clearcoat. The clearcoat has a biobased hardener, which reduces the energy consumed and the and CO2 emissions produced during the manufacturing process.
The clearcoat has been tried out in test bodies of the Audi Q2 under near-series conditions at the Audi factory in Ingolstadt, Germany.
BASF used biobased hardener Desmodur eco N 7300 from Covestro for developing the clearcoat. About 70 percent of the hardener’s carbon content is obtained from renewable raw materials and this translates into significant reduction in the use of non-renewable fossil resources.
The clearcoat is generally used as the top layer of the coating system, in order to make vehicles more scratch resistant, make the paint appear more glossy and to give the paint surface greater protection against sunlight and other effects of the weather.
Matthijs Groenewolt, head of clearcoat and topcoat development Europe at BASF commented on the development saying that the new clearcoat will help customers to achieve their sustainability targets without any compromise when it comes to performance and quality.
Markus Mechtel, head of marketing for automotive coatings at Covestro, added that using renewable raw materials in the production of bio-based hardeners would help to conserve fossil resources. He also said that as biomass grows, it would help to capture carbondioxide that is in the environment.The manufacturing process of the new bio-based clearcoat also eliminated production steps thus leading to an additional reduction of CO2 emissions.
“The use of biobased raw materials in automotive coatings is still in its infancy,” said Thomas Heusser, head of Materials and Process Engineering at Audi. “But the application of the new clearcoat on our existing machines fulfilled all our specifications and delivered promising results. With this project Audi takes up a pioneering role in this field in the automotive industry.”
He went on to express his hope that after successful coating of test bodies of the Audi Q2, the clearcoat would eventually be used in full-scale production, saying that by working together, the three companies have taken an important step forward when it comes to the development of an even more sustainable automotive coating process.
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